German Verb Conjugations - Sprechen - to Speak

The German verb sprechen means to speak or to talk. It is an irregular (strong) verb and a stem-changing verb. Notice the change from e to i in the du and er/sie/es present tense forms. The past participle is gesprochen.

  • Principal Parts:  sprechen (spricht)   sprach   gesprochen
  • Imperative (Commands): (du) Sprich! | (ihr) Sprecht! | Sprechen Sie!  

Sprechen - Present Tense - Präsens

DeutschEnglish
Singular Present Tense
ich sprecheI speak/am speaking
du sprichstyou speak/are speaking
er spricht
sie spricht
es spricht
he speaks/is speaking
she speaks/is speaking
it speaks/is speaking
Plural Present Tense
wir sprechenwe speak/are speaking
ihr sprechtyou (guys) speak/
are speaking
sie sprechenthey speak/are speaking
Sie sprechenyou speak/are speaking
Examples:
  Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
  Do you speak German?
  Er spricht sehr schnell.
  He talks very fast.

Sprechen - Simple Past Tense - Imperfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Simple Past Tense
ich sprachI spoke
du sprachstyou spoke
er sprach
sie sprach
es sprach
he spoke
she spoke
it spoke
Plural Simple Past Tense
wir sprachenwe spoke
ihr sprachtyou (guys) spoke
sie sprachenthey spoke
Sie sprachenyou spoke

Sprechen - Compound Past Tense (Present Perfect) -  Perfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Compound Past Tense
ich habe gesprochenI spoke/have spoken
du hast gesprochenyou spoke/have spoken
er hat gesprochen
sie hat gesprochen
es hat gesprochen
he spoke/has spoken
she spoke/has spoken
it spoke/has spoken
Plural Compound Past Tense
wir haben gesprochenwe spoke/have spoken
ihr habt gesprochenyou (guys) spoke
have spoken
sie haben gesprochenthey spoke/have spoken
Sie haben gesprochenyou spoke/have spoken

Sprechen - Past Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Past Perfect Tense
ich hatte gesprochenI had spoken
du hattest gesprochenyou had spoken
er hatte gesprochen
sie hatte gesprochen
es hatte gesprochen
he had spoken
she had spoken
it had spoken
Plural Past Perfect Tense
wir hatten gesprochenwe had spoken
ihr hattet gesprochenyou (guys) had spoken
sie hatten gesprochenthey had spoken
Sie hatten gesprochenyou had spoken

Sprechen - Future Tense - Futur

The future tense is used much less in German than in English. Very often the present tense is used with an adverb instead, as with the present progressive in English: Er ruft morgen an. = He's going to call tomorrow.
DeutschEnglish
Singular Future Tense
ich werde sprechenI will speak
du wirst sprechenyou will speak
er wird sprechen
sie wird sprechen
es wird sprechen
he will speak
she will speak
it will speak
Plural Future Tense
wir werden sprechenwe will speak
ihr werdet sprechenyou (guys) will speak
sie werden sprechenthey will speak
Sie werden sprechenyou will speak

Sprechen - Future Perfect Tense - Futur II

DeutschEnglish
Singular Future Perfect Tense
ich werde gesprochen habenI will have spoken
du wirst gesprochen habenyou will have spoken
er wird gesprochen haben
sie wird gesprochen haben
es wird gesprochen haben
he will have spoken
she will have spoken
it will have spoken
Plural Future Perfect Tense
wir werden gesprochen habenwe will have spoken
ihr werdet gesprochen habenyou (guys) will have spoken
sie werden gesprochen habenthey will have spoken
Sie werden gesprochen habenyou will have spoken

 

Sprechen -  Commands - Imperativ

DeutschEnglish
There are three command (imperative) forms, one for each "you" word. In addition, the "let's" form is used with wir.
(du) sprich!speak
(ihr) sprecht!speak
sprechen Sie!speak
sprechen wir!let's speak

 

Sprechen - Subjunctive I - Konjunktiv I

DeutschEnglish
The subjunctive is a mood, not a tense. The Subjunctive I (Konjunktiv I) is based on the infinitive form of the verb. It is most often used to express indirect quotation (indirekte Rede). Rare in conversational use, the Subjunctive I is often seen in newspapers, usually in the third person (er spreche, he is said to speak).
Singular
ich spreche (würde sprechen)*I speak
du sprechestyou speak
er spreche
sie spreche
es spreche
he speaks
she speaks
it speaks
*NOTE: Because the Subjunctive I (Konjunktiv I) of "sprechen" in the first person (ich) is identical to the indicative (normal) form, the Subjunctive II is sometimes substituted.
Plural
wir sprechenwe speak
ihr sprechetyou (guys) speak
sie sprechenthey speak
Sie sprechenyou speak

Sprechen - Subjunctive II - Konjunktiv II

DeutschEnglish
The Subjunctive II (Konjunktiv II) expresses wishful thinking, contrary-to-reality situations and is used to express politeness. The Subjunctive II is based on the simple past tense (Imperfekt, sprach), adding an umlaut + e: spräche.
Singular
ich sprächeI would speak
du sprächestyou would speak
er spräche
sie spräche
es spräche
he would speak
she would speak
it would speak
Plural
wir sprächenwe would speak
ihr sprächetyou (guys) would speak
sie sprächenthey would speak
Sie sprächenyou would speak
Since the subjunctive is a mood and not a tense, it can be used in various tenses. Below are examples that illustrate how sprechen forms the subjunctive in past or future time. In such cases, the subjunctive forms of haben or werden are combined with sprechen.
Past Time
DeutschEnglish
er habe gesprochenhe is said to have spoken
ich hätte gesprochenI would have spoken
sie hätten gesprochenthey would have spoken
Future Time
DeutschEnglish
er werde gesprochen habenhe will have spoken
ich würde sprechenI would speak
du würdest gesprochen habenyou would have spoken
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Your Citation
Flippo, Hyde. "German Verb Conjugations - Sprechen - to Speak." ThoughtCo, Aug. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/german-verb-conjugations-sprechen-to-speak-4070800. Flippo, Hyde. (2016, August 6). German Verb Conjugations - Sprechen - to Speak. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/german-verb-conjugations-sprechen-to-speak-4070800 Flippo, Hyde. "German Verb Conjugations - Sprechen - to Speak." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/german-verb-conjugations-sprechen-to-speak-4070800 (accessed November 24, 2017).